Sweet Vegan Chickpea Crêpes

These breakfast crêpes are just right: sweet but not too sweet and infused with a mildly nutty flavor from the chickpea flour. You can prepare the batter the night before you make these and keep it in the fridge, covered, overnight. In the morning you'll have a quick breakfast that will still feel like a special treat! (less) - Gena Hamshaw

Serves 4 to 6

1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour or rice flour (brown or white)
2 tablespoons organic sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 cup almond or soy milk
1/2 cup water
Oil, for frying crêpes

Whisk the flours, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk the vanilla, oil, almond milk, and water together. Add them to the well in the dry ingredients and mix everything thoroughly, using a whisk. Try to eliminate all clumps; if you have trouble doing this, you can use an immersion blender to blend the mixture thoroughly. Cover the batter and refrigerate it for 1 to 4 hours (you can even refrigerate it overnight, if you like).

Lightly oil a small frying pan or crêpe pan and heat it over a medium flame. Pour 1/3 cup batter and quickly swirl it around in the pan, doing your best to distribute it as evenly as possible. Cook until small bubbles form on the surface of the crêpe. Gingerly flip the crêpe over and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until both sides are golden. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with banana slices, fresh berries, jam, or almond butter (or all of the above).

This is How You Eat Ice Cream in the Winter

On a recent (cold and rainy) trip to Atlanta, I found myself craving comfort foods. Being in the South, I might have gone out for some real down-home soul food. But no. My gut led me instead to Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, where I sampled every single one of their new winter flavors, among them Toasted Brioche with Butter and Jam and a Hot Toddy sorbet. I decided to double up on two of my favorite Jeni's classics: Bangkok Peanut (inspired by spicy Thai peanut sauce) and Yazoo Sue (a beer swirled concoction with rosemary bar nuts). To that I added a generous dusting of salty graham "gravel," one of Jeni's signature toppings. It was perfect, decadent, and more comforting than a bowl of chicken and dumplings.

And that got me thinking: Ice cream. Winter. Why should the latter curb intake of the former? I'm here to make a case for eating lots and lots of ice cream in the winter. To help convince you, I reached out to Jeni Britton Bauer (the Jeni of Jeni's), who provided some brilliant tips for giving ice cream a winter upgrade.

1. Winter is a great time to make ice creams with cakes, pralines, and cookies layered in.

Jeni wants you to load your ice cream with delicious things because it's winter and hopefully your diets are all out the window. "Its a relatively simple way to make an ice cream into a dinner party-worthy dessert," she says.

2. You don't even have to make the ice cream or mix-ins yourself.

Doctor up store-bought ice cream with a mixture of sauce and bits of cookies, cakes, or pralines (you can buy these too). "I like to crush them up in 1/2-inch crumbles and add a bit of sauce like caramel, chocolate, or jam to moisten them. You just want to coat the crumbles, not too much or too little. The sauce will adhere to the cakes or cookies and keep it binded together while you layer it in the ice cream."

3. Make a frozen banana pudding.

"Take a mixture of broken, crushed, or crumbled shortbread or vanilla cookies and just enough caramel sauce to hold them together," Jeni says. "Layer the blend into fresh banana ice cream for something like a frozen banana pudding." There's a great recipe for banana ice cream in Jeni's book, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home, or try this recipe for Spiced Banana Ice Cream.

4. Put some booze in your ice cream.

To make Honey Bourbon Cake Ice Cream, start with softened vanilla ice cream. Crumble a slice of yellow cake into 1/2-inch bits. Combine a few teaspoons of whiskey with an equal amount of honey in a small cup and pour just enough of the mixture over the cake crumbles, just until the cake is slightly moistened. (Dont use too much. If you do, the ice cream you're making wont re-freeze.) Let it soak for a few minutes, then gently mix the cake mixture into the softened ice cream. Put the mixture in the freezer to harden.

Ready to become a master winter ice cream mixer? Check out these recipes for decadent homemade mix-ins, but rememberthere's no shame in store-bought.

Then we walked back to Judy’s apartment and participated in some hands-on cooking

Panna cotta recipe

One of the fun things about living in Europe is that there are other people who’ve moved here (like me) who love their local culinary scene (like me.)

A few lucky guests each week follow along (or rather, try to keep up!) with Judy Witts Francini, aka Divina Cucina. A bundle of energy, each morning armed with an empty basket and a head full of menu ideas, she takes the Central Market in Florence by storm. A day begins with espresso at her favorite pastry shop Probiotic powder, Antica Pasticceria Sieni (via San Antonio) where you sip espresso served with spicy wedges of panpepato, crisp brutti ma buoni (which means “ugly, but good”), and delicate cream-filled pastries.

Soon after, you’re exploring the market with Judy. I tasted well-aged balsamic vinegar, found delicate tiny wild strawberries, and sampled aged sheep-milk Pecorino cheeses…which could make even the most devoted, cheese-loving Francophile pack their bags for Tuscany Dermes.

After thoughtfully selecting wines for lunch from her local expert at Casa del Vino (via dell’Ariento, 16/r), the sandwich maker fixed me a surprise snack for my train trip that evening. When I unwrapped my sandwich, I found Tuscan bread stuffed with anchovy and olive oil marinated tomatoes Burgundy wine, arugola, and creamy burrata cheese from Apulia.


Judy is a dynamo of knowledge, full of great culinary tips, such as…

☎1. Don’t listen to music or watch tv while cooking, which distracts you from the food as it crackles, sizzles, and simmers.

☎2. Used good olive oil.
The best olive oils are pressed from hand-picked olives Dermes. Lesser-quality olive oils use olives that fall from the tree, which causes them to bruise and become prone to rancidity. That’s why cheaper olive oils turn bad after a few months while better oils last much longer. And tastes better!

☎3. Always heat olive oil first in your saute pan before adding meat or vegetables.
This allows food to sear and cook quickly, which augments flavors. An exception is fresh garlic, which should be heated at the same time as the oil lafite rothschild, since it’s easy to burn.

☎4. Techniques are more important than recipes or details.
Even if you’re not a master chef like Judy, use recipes as guidelines for cooking. While a recipe may indicate a cooking time of 20 minutes, you may find it takes more or less time in your kitchen. And you may like more salt. Or your lemons are larger, and sweeter. Learning techniques, rather than just following recipes, will make you cook like an Italian.

☎5. Almost all true balsamic vinegars are aged for at least 10 years. Anything less is not a real balsamic. The stuff you buy in shops labeled ‘balsamic’ with the consistency of water is not true balsamic and has added colorings and flavorings. Once you taste the real thing, you’re eyes will roll back in your head and you will hallucinate Dermes.

I’ve been cooking professionally for over half of my life and I’ve tasted some mighty fine food, but one of the best things I’ve ever had, she made right in front of us: Herb Garlic Rub. It’s something that anyone can make and tastes infinitely better than those stale mixtures one buys in a jar. Judy shucked a few large branches of fresh rosemary leaves. She added the leaves from an enormous bunch of fresh sage, a generous handful of salt, and 4-5 cloves of fresh garlic. Then she chopped and chopped and chopped until very fine, then left the mxiture on the cutting board until dry wine tasting, which takes a day or two. Once dry, store the mixture in a jar. You can use the Herb Garlic Rub on any meat, fish, poultry, or vegetable. Add a bit to a bowl of good olive oil for dipping bread.

Then in an amazing feat of culinary skill, replicating something that intrigued me at the market, Judy split a long loaf of Italian bread lengthwise. She generously poured some good olive oil over the insides (without measuring, folks…), dusted it with Herb Garlic Rub, then tucked a pork tenderloin inside. After wrapping the whole thing in foil, she baked it directly on the oven rack (in a 375 degree oven for about one hour.) As she unwrapped it, the overwhelming aroma of herbs and garlic permeated the air. None of us could be polite any longer, and we begin ripping off hunks of the herb-and-olive-oil infused bread and stuffing them in our mouths.

For dessert Judy whipped up Panna Cotta, one of Italy’s most beloved desserts. Although Judy uses local Tuscan cream, you can substitute whole milk or buttermilk for some of the cream. We tossed tiny wild strawberries and plump raspberries in sugar to macerate, then piled some atop each Panna Cotta and drizzled it with an unrestrained pour of 30 year old syrupy-sweet balsamic vinegar.
Rare, and outrageously expensive, Judy kept advising, “Pour on more! Pour on more! That stuff tastes great!”

Divina Cucina Panna Cotta
☎6 Servings

❤4 cups heavy cream (or substitute half-and-half, or use half buttermilk)
❤1/2 cup sugar
❤2 teaspoons vanilla extract
❤2 packages unflavored gelatin, such as Knox

Soften gelatin over 6 tablespoons cold water.

Heat cream over low heat with the sugar and stir until dissolved. Do not boil. Remove from heat.
Stir in gelatin until melted. Add the vanilla. Pour into glass serving goblets or bowls.

Chill for at least 2 hours. Once firm, top with sweetened berries and aged balsamic vinegar, or lots of shavings of chocolate.

6 Quick and Easy Memorial Day Party Side Dishes

Burgers are on the grill. Beers are in hand. You finally grab a seat with your party guests. Then, your best friend's mother's sister shows up with five unexpected people, and you start to freak out that you don't have enough food! Everything's going to be okay, because we've got you covered with quick and easy party side dishes that will get you back to your lawn chair in 30 minutes or less fully furnished.

The Neeley's Five Bean Salad This colorful and hearty dish will become your go-to side for effortless entertaining all summer long. (pictured above)

Quinoa Pilaf with Spring Vegetables A squirt of fresh lime juice takes this easy and healthy side dish over the top.

Spinach and Orzo Salad Fresh mint leaves make this simple side especially refreshing.

Pasta Salad with Melon, Pancetta, and Ricotta Salata The classic Italian combination of prosciutto and melon is reinvented into an irresistible pasta salad personal loans.

Potato and Green Bean Salad with Walnut Dressing A creamy yogurt-based dressing ties together this mashup that's a delicious combination of potato salad and green bean salad.

Celery, Apple, and Fennel Slaw This updated take on classic Waldorf salad is fantastic with grilled chicken, pork, or fish .

Resolve to Indulge: Skinny Cow Giveaway

Recently, I told you about Skinny Cow’s Resolve to Indulge program. While most of us often resolve to eat better or exercise more or lose weight, it’s also good to resolve to indulge as well. Skinny Cow makes that simple to do with their sweet treats best travel tea mugs.

In addition to sweet indulgences, don’t forget that Skinny Cow is giving away prizes every day through January 30th. You could win all kinds of things perfect for pampering yourself. Visit the Resolve to Indulge site to enter.

And while you’re there, be sure to enter for the grand prize – a new pair of shoes every week for a year! In addition to all of these prizes, Skinny Cow is also donating $100,000 to Dress for Success, an organization that helps women succeed in their careers by providing them with professional attire ageLOC Me.

In other fun, indulgent news, Skinny Cow is giving one of you an assortment of their products. We’re talking chocolate candies, ice cream, and more!

See the widget below for entry details and requirements. Please note that the winner must be a U.S. resident 18 years or older. If you are unable to see the widget, make sure your browser is updated or try viewing this page in another browser.

Be sure to add bakeorbreak at gmail dot com to your contacts so that a winning email from me doesn’t end up in your spam folder. If a winner doesn’t respond to my email within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen china company formation.


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